Internet Arcade: Space Harrier
- Publication date
AM R&D; Dept. #2
Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, FM-7, Game Gear, NES, Nintendo 3DS, PC-6001, PC-88, SEGA 32X, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, SEGA Master System, SEGA Saturn, TurboGrafx-16, Wii, ZX Spectrum
SEGA Enterprises Ltd.
Run… fly… dodge those obstacles, but return fire on wave after wave of attacking aliens. Armed with a really big gun, you have to defend yourself against the alien hordes using your wits to navigate around the screen. But watch out for those end of level bosses!
Originating in the arcades, Space Harrier is a third-person rail shooter with pseudo-3D graphics, set in the same world as Fantasy Zone. The lone titular hero fights aliens with a fireball-launching cannon, which can also be used to transform the hero into a flying rocket. The protagonist is constantly in motion, but the speed of his movement can be regulated by the player.
From Mobygames.com. Original Entry
- 2014-08-30 00:08:23
- Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, FM-7, Game Gear, NES, Nintendo 3DS, PC-6001, PC-88, SEGA 32X, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, SEGA Master System, SEGA Saturn, TurboGrafx-16, Wii, ZX Spectrum
- AM R&D; Dept. #2
- Arcade, Shooter
- Behind view
- SEGA Enterprises Ltd.
- Sci-Fi / Futuristic
- Internet Archive Python library 0.7.0
Subject: You had to live to understand.
Subject: My favorite game; absolute masterpiece
Beyond this, it is incredibly important from a historical perspective; in 1985, the technology of this absolutely blew everything away.
When this game was released, people were used to their Atari 2600's; the NES was not yet a household regular. Space Harrier brought dual 68000's along with Sega's "Super Scaler Graphics", supposedly designed by NASA, to allow sprite scaling to an effect never seen before in the consumer market.
To get an idea of just how far ahead the graphics were at the time, load up any other game from 1985 in the archive; then load up any Atari 2600 game; then compare them to Space Harrier arcade.
Beyond this, it took the rest of the industry quite some time to catch up.
In the arcades, only Sega was able to match, and then ultimately go beyond SH's graphics with its own evolving hardware; I peg it at Virtua Fighters 1 in 1993, when an arcade game finally looked significantly "better" than 1985's SH.
On the consumer front, it took even longer.
There were tons of ports. The Sega Master System had an (obviously) inferior port in 1986; every computer system at the time had one as well.
The Sega Genesis had a far inferior (with no sprite scaling) "Space Harrier II" in 1989.
To give further perspective, the 32X, a $159 add-on for the Sega Genesis, was released in 1994. One of its best sellers was a port of SH; this was ALMOST arcade perfect, but STILL couldn't quite keep up with the frame rate and resolution of its 1985 grandfather.
It literally took until 1995 (in the US) for the Saturn/Playstation release for the console market to catch up (and exceed) the graphical prowess of this 1985 gem.
Additionally, this is the precursor to the true 3rd person (or even 1st person) shooter. I would argue that it is the ancestor to just about any 3D action game played today.
It is still, to this day, being released in some form or another, most recently for the Nintendo 3DS in actual "3D", including a final boss battle added on from the Sega Master System.
If you are unfamiliar with this work, you absolutely must try it; while playing it in a web browser (or even a TV) takes away some of the magic of playing it in its original sit-down cabinet with flight stick, you can still get a sense of the revolution this title brought in 1985 and beyond.